Data: What Is DevSecOps?
Learn how DevSecOps works, the benefits of using it, and some tips on how to make the most of this exciting new strategy.
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This article was published with permission from freelance writer, Justin Reynolds.
Companies today face increasing challenges around reducing the time and cost of software development. Many are thus using DevOps methodologies, which combine software development and IT operations to achieve continuous delivery and shorter production cycles. Yet as useful as DevOps is, it fails to account for a critical need: security.
All too often, DevOps engineers rush products to market that contain latent security vulnerabilities. As a result, products tend to get caught in endless security patching loops. This extends the time and cost of development throughout the software lifecycle and negatively impacts the customer experience.
To get more out of their DevOps programs, a growing number of organizations are going a step further and integrating DevSecOps strategies. Interest in this cutting-edge strategy is steadily increasing, with the global DevSecOps market now on track to reach $6.5 billion by 2025.
Keep reading to learn how DevSecOps works, the benefits of using it, and some tips on how to make the most of this exciting new strategy.
DevSecOps: An Overview
DevSecOps is a strategy that involves integrating security with DevOps workflows. Instead of leaving security until the last stage of the development process, it gets baked into the production process while deploying, operating, monitoring, coding, building, testing, and releasing products. This strategy is often called shift left security testing. By shifting left, everyone in the DevOps production cycle, not just dedicated security teams, becomes responsible for security.
The Benefits of DevSecOps
Here are some of the top benefits of deploying DevSecOps in an enterprise setting.
1. Fewer Vulnerabilities
In a traditional DevOps framework, security vulnerabilities typically get overlooked and swept aside. By the time they get discovered in the last stage of production, it’s often too late—and too costly—to go back and fix them. That’s because doing so would require a massive security overhaul.
In a DevSecOps model, teams discover security vulnerabilities as they occur in the production cycle. To accomplish this, many companies are now using automated security platforms that provide shift left testing and monitoring services, giving developers direct visibility into issues as soon as they occur.
2. Faster Development
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that shifting left and adding more steps to a production cycle via DevSecOps speeds up development. However, the process is actually much more efficient than traditional methods. By catching security problems and remediating them during development, teams can avoid more complicated and expensive adjustments down the line after deployment.
When given the right tools, DevSecOps teams can actually move very quickly. As a result, they can work through problems as they arise and move on rapidly to the next thing once they are taken care of.
3. Security Culture
One of the best parts about DevSecOps is that it fosters a stronger cybersecurity culture. It forces DevOps engineers to actively think about and practice security each and every step of the way.
As time goes on with a DevSecOps model, security can become a natural part of the development culture instead of something that gets put aside. This results in a much safer environment. And it also produces a culture that’s more open and built around data transparency.
4. Cost Savings
By identifying issues earlier in the development cycle and reducing back-end work, teams can ultimately push applications to market faster. This, in turn, enables them to save a significant amount of money.
This is very important, particularly when considering the fact that development costs are rising each year. Companies need to actively look for ways to streamline production and reduce costs.
5. Proactive Security
Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous as time goes on. More and more of them are using emerging tools that contain artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover and exploit vulnerabilities. This problem seems likely to compound over time.
DevSecOps enables teams to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals through continuous auditing and real-time monitoring and reporting. This strategy is all about discovering and fixing security issues before cybercriminals exploit them in the first place.
6. Shared Security Responsibility
Security teams today remain understaffed and overworked. For example, one recent study found that 70 percent of cybersecurity professionals said their organization is impacted by the global cybersecurity shortage.
In response, many companies are now closing the gap with DevSecOps by asking DevOps professionals to take on security responsibilities during production.
By baking security into the production cycle and putting it into the hands of developers, it can prevent back-end work and take the load off security teams. And let’s be honest: Who couldn’t use a lighter plate?
7. Enhanced Collaboration
One of the top reasons companies use DevOps is to improve collaboration and communication among engineers. In the past, software and application development was very siloed. With the advent of DevOps, team members began assuming new roles and responsibilities. This, in turn, enabled each of them to better understand how different components of a solution interoperate. All of a sudden, instead of having so-called specialists working on a certain part of an application, you have a team filled with folks who know the entire lifecycle. By bringing security into the fold, DevSecOps takes this concept further.
This strategy exposes cybersecurity to different types of employees while introducing unique perspectives and fresh ideas for combating cybercrime.
Tips for Implementing DevSecOps
When implemented successfully, DevSecOps can transform software and application production. And as a result, it can strengthen a company’s overall security posture.
However, DevSecOps success isn’t automatic. By keeping these tips in mind during the process, you can increase the chances that your initiative will succeed.
Build a Culture Around DevSecOps
Teams that are already using DevOps models should have an easier time transitioning to DevSecOps. However, companies that are using traditional development models may need to spend a fair amount of time establishing a framework and working with end users to create trust and mutual understanding of common goals. After all, you can’t expect people to change the way they work simply because you say so.
Use Threat Modeling
It’s also a good idea to engage in threat modeling. This enables you to identify and mitigate threats before they occur.
Threat modeling helps teams discover key locations where they are likely to be attacked. It also tells them what steps they need to take to secure these attack vectors.
Protect Sensitive Data
DevSecOps teams need to be extra careful when working with sensitive data to protect it from misuse or disclosure.
This is especially important for teams in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance. It’s also true for organizations that operate in the European Union and need to abide by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
For peace of mind, it’s worth using a dedicated solution purpose-built to protect sensitive data during development and ensure compliance.
Ready to Shift Left and Implement DevSecOps at Your Organization?
Implementing a comprehensive DevSecOps strategy and shifting left can lead to tighter overall security. At the same time, it can also speed up development cycles, lowering costs and reducing cybersecurity issues along the way.
Published at DZone with permission of Jane Temov. See the original article here.
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